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Saturday, September 27, 2008


I have been pushing hard lately. Just get things done. But nothing very specific. Many small things that set the stage for other things. Too abstract.
Today my dad told me that he thought I am a bit lost. That he's never before seen me without a clear path forward. But has my path ever really been clear? It has certainly not seemed that way.
Today I was at Barnes and Nobles for awhile. I saw people from within my isolation and didn't talk to them. But I feel like some processes are playing themselves out that have been hidden and pushed below. I think some of this is good. I was actually looking at this feeling of isolation, and deciding not to fight it in that moment. One thing I have come to realize about myself is that I am basically an introvert. I've learned to be an extrovert, but its not always so natural to me.
I picked up a book called "Loneliness" by John Cacioppo. I read the description of a New Yorker who started a relationship with an old girlfriend who was not thriving in the city. In the midst of the ensuing misery, he is staring out the window and sees the image of a sad, lonely person. At first he thinks this is himself, but then the image moves backwards, and he sees it is someone mirroring him out the window! This connection pulls him out of himself, allowing him to see his situation more clearly.The story made me cry. Ok, just a little.
Here's an interview with Cacioppo.
Actually, I'll add that while reading this book, I was noticing the focus on statistics which was annoying me. There's an interplay between personal antecdote and supposedly objective analysis. It was also the discussions about genes that bothered me. Like the gap between these two ways of understanding is too great.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

a name for yourself

I seem to be pretty good at pushing things close to completion and then leaving them there. I somehow lack that spirit to really run with something. The way I think of it is that I build up structure so that I can enjoy the benefits of things in a relaxed way. Having to jump up and down in glory and deal with people who either didn't get as far as you or want to pull you higher, just isn't fun for me. But maybe defining yourself isn't so bad? Maybe there are new realms of uncertainty you enter?
I just keep thinking of John Cusack in High Fidelity when he finally decides to commit to a relationship:
I can see now I never really committed to Laura. I always had one foot out the door, and that prevented me from doing a lot of things, like thinking about my future and... I guess it made more sense to commit to nothing, keep my options open. And that's suicide. By tiny, tiny increments.

Monday, September 08, 2008

ready to give up

Just one of those days where it seems like I just can't keep going on in the same way.
Whatever that means.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

coming together

Our minds can live in many places at the same time.
I feel spread across the country, spread across disciplines, philosophies, loyalties, lifestyles.
I blame it on the internet sometimes- my scattered approach, but really my use of the internet as a tool developed naturally. At each step it seemed to solve a prearticulated problem. On the other hand, what often comes to mind is those stories about wish fulfillment. The ways in which getting what we ask for is what destroys us.
Maybe its just been too long since I've been in touch with a certain voice inside me. The voice that does cross boundaries and includes the various parts of me.
Maybe because I am working, holding things in suspension, creating small environments for things to grow, I can't access this voice. And I'm overwhelmed by too many pieces at the same time. I worry that there is no end. That its just one expanding blow after another with not enough glue to put it together.
I enjoyed painting for the first time in awhile. This is what painting is for me. It is putting things together. I used to think that I could put anything down on the paper or canvas and find a way to make it harmonious. Maybe giving up on this is why I've been unable to paint for so long. But maybe its time to believe in it again. But belief in the more humble sense of a longing and dreaming rather than a "must get it done now".